“Miss Evers’s Boys” is a film that is based on a true story known as a Tuskegee Syphilis study. This study was conducted between 1932 and 1972 to explore the natural course of syphilis among African-American males in the US. Miss Evers, the nurse, was instructed to tell men that the government will treat them for free, while no factual treatment was intended. Even when one of the characters, Caleb Humphrie, was treated by penicillin during his serving in the army, others were denied medication.
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This film shows the violation of respect for persons, namely, the rights to full disclosure and self-determination. The study participants were not notified that they are test subjects, which is the intentional concealment of information. When people asked for help, the hospital workers denied their request as their names were in a special list. These African-Americans were deprived of the right to decide on the participation in the experiment, which means coercion and the inability to withdraw from the study, not to mention a lack of informed consent (Koskenvuori et al., 2019). Such an approach to patients is unacceptable in modern healthcare since all the patients should be treated with respect.
To conclude, healthcare leaders should be attentive to the reports on unethical behaviors to openly discuss them and prevent future incidents. The main goal of addressing a lack of respect is to change the behaviors of healthcare professionals, making them more qualified and aware of the key principles of ethics (Koskenvuori et al., 2019). To support ethical vigilance, leaders should serve as role models to inspire doctors, nurses, and other involved specialists. Most importantly, leaders are to provide opportunities for healthcare workers to constantly improve their ethical competence.
Koskenvuori, J., Stolt, M., Suhonen, R., & Leino‐Kilpi, H. (2019). Healthcare professionals’ ethical competence: A scoping review. Nursing Open, 6(1), 5-17.